When the price of crude oil declined and jobs became scarce, he sought a new career path and decided to seek an MBA.
He began an MBA program at another college but switched to Millsaps.
“I was not happy with the teaching styles they had implemented in their program and wasn’t getting the return on investment I was looking for,” he said. “I attended the Commercial Real Estate Investment Seminar hosted by Rogers and Associates at Millsaps, where I met some faculty members of the Millsaps MBA program who insisted I make the switch to Millsaps.”
Cox, said he learned to look at details and solve problems during his undergraduate program but he had no exposure to business applications. “Having an MBA will allow me to gain business tools that will set me up for a lifetime of success,” he said.
A sales associate at Speed Commercial Real Estate, Cox has worked full time while earning his MBA. He has attended classes two night a week and participated in group and individual projects on the other evenings. “While working full time and taking class at night can be time consuming and overwhelming, it teaches you time management skills and allows you to take what you learned in the classroom and apply that to your business,” he said.
The Capstone Strategic Management class instructed by Dr. Ray Grubbs, professor of management, was the highlight of the program, Cox said.
“The class focused on an online simulator where we competed amongst ourselves running a company that manufactured sensors,” he said. “Dr. Grubbs does a tremendous job challenging the students to make real-life business decisions and incorporating all aspects of a company that boards of directors are faced with on a daily basis.”
Cox, who will complete his MBA in the summer of 2017, said Grubbs is among his favorite professors.
“Dr. Grubbs will have taught me in four different classes,” he said. “He is a very encouraging professor with a strong desire to see his students succeed. We had many conversations inside and outside the classroom and I am honored to have him as a mentor.”
Roulla works as a sales manager at Aerostar Global Logistics, Inc., a company that provides a full spectrum of international and domestic shipping services, plus logistic services that encompass global warehousing and fulfillment programs.
“The business acumen acquired at Millsaps helps me in my line of work, particularly dealing with international customers and agents,” he said.
Roulla decided to pursue his MBA right after finishing his bachelor’s degree, and Millsaps College was number one on his list of schools to apply to for numerous reasons.
“The Millsaps program was my top choice because of its renowned quality education, prestige, and smaller class size,” he said. “The Millsaps location in a beautiful part of Jackson, which was also important.”
Roulla is confident that the education and skills set he learned through the MBA program led to a return on his investment. “The program provided me with a much-valued education in the spheres of finance and management, knowledge, which is useful to me now,” he said.
Vladimir Roulla, who earned his MBA in 2007, keeps his diploma on the shelf in his living room so it can always be seen.
Jordan Bryan thanks the education she gained from the Millsaps College Else School of Management MBA program and a recommendation from Millsaps College Professor Dr. Walter Neely with helping her earn her job at Ross & Yerger Insurance, Inc.
After working at a financial firm in New York City for three years after earning her undergraduate degree, Mississippi native Jordan Bryan moved back to the South to pursue her MBA at Millsaps.
“I chose to come back at that time because I was at a point in my job where I had met the ceiling of potential in my current role,” she said. “I was interested in a challenge and moving forward, so I took advantage of the opportunity and have never regretted it once.”
Bryan, vice president and shareholder at Ross & Yerger Insurance, Inc., an independent insurance agency in Jackson, said the Millsaps MBA program provided her with a foundation on how to apply practical, real-world leadership skills.
“Six years later, I can now see how I use this knowledge not only in my every day work life but also in organizations and community groups that I am involved with. I think it prepared me to be a better team player in a lot of aspects, but also how to be a more effective leader,” she said.
Bryan said each professor in the Else School of Management helped her learn how to apply her knowledge to the working environment.
“I enjoyed that most of the professors had been in the workforce prior to teaching so they were able to apply the textbook knowledge in a different manner. From the business law class to finance and accounting, we were learning from lawyers and CPAs about their experience and how they applied their skill sets in their own careers,” she said.
Bryan said she has a competitive advantage in her field as a result of completing her MBA at Millsaps.
“The advantage I gained from Millsaps is the ability to study and apply new knowledge,” she said. “In the business world, we can be quantitative and analytical but if you don’t have the people skills to apply that knowledge, then you are missing out. I learned both aspects of that from Millsaps.”
Bryan, who received her MBA in 2010, said she has seen a return on her investment. She hangs her framed diploma in the center of her office at work.
“The classes I took through the MBA program at Millsaps College helped me learn the ability to work with, for, and alongside others to accomplish common goals,” she said. “The program challenged me to think in new and different ways and helped me develop a skillset that I use each and every day.”
Vish Sankaran is confident that the education gained from the Millsaps College MBA program helped him create a smooth transition from an engineering based background and ultimately advanced his career.
In his last year of undergrad, Vish Sankaran faced the tough decision on whether to jump into the workforce or continue his education. After realizing he wanted to be a part of the corporate world, Sankaran found that it would be beneficial to him to complement his undergraduate electrical engineering degree with an MBA.
“As I was researching graduate programs that could complement my degree, I came across multiple success stories that mentioned a combination of a MBA and an engineering degree. The prospect of a MBA program enticed me and what better college to choose than one of the best in the South for an MBA, Millsaps College.”
Sankaran now works as a senior engineer at Entergy Services, Inc., an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production delivering electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in the Deep South.
Sankaran believes the Millsaps MBA provided him with the skills to communicate at a high level and achieve career goals.
Knowledge from his MBA helped him better present highly technical information to those who do not have the technical expertise, he said.
“Having the skill set to communicate at a high level, understanding what the audience can comprehend, and having the ability to summarize information in basic terms is a huge plus in a career in the utility industry,” he said.
The Millsaps MBA program and professors prepared him for the working environment, he said.
“When the program overall is great, it’s hard to narrow down any one course or professor that has guided me down this path,” he said. “The professors and the subjects that they teach go beyond just the textbooks. They aid in setting students up for the real world with case studies from the real world.”
Describing his experience and the academic rigor of the program, Sansarkan said, “Papers, papers, and more papers! I spent a great deal of time reading various articles, case studies, and books. Each of the reading materials covered various topics and definitely broadened my business knowledge.”
Sankaran, who earned his MBA in 2009, is confident that the knowledge he gained through the program have given him a competitive advantage in his field.
“Compared to other engineers, I am able to communicate my engineering related information to non-engineers in laymen’s terms. I have definitely seen the impact a MBA has had on my career at Entergy.”
He decided with much thought to pursue an Executive MBA after being out of school for ten years.
Black said he always envisioned expanding his professional horizons, but that was difficult to do because many positions he aspired to required additional experience and education.
“I had a sense of competitiveness and came to view attaining my MBA as a way to challenge my career expectations and build on my undergraduate degree,” he said. “I was at the perfect place mentally and financially and found Millsaps to be the ideal destination to further my career.”
Black, regional human resources manager at Sam’s Club, a chain of membership-only retail warehouse clubs owned and operated by Fortune-ranked No. 1 Walmart, said one of the most impressive aspects of the Millsaps EMBA program is the faculty.
“I love the fact that our professors live what they were teaching us every day,” he said. “They are not just straitlaced academics with no real-world business experience. They brought real-world experiences into the classroom and showed us how we could make effective change.”
Describing his and his classmates’ experience, Black said, “We all took concepts that had been totally foreign to us and used them to become a more valuable resource to our respective organizations. Each class and professor brought a different perspective to the forefront.“
Black acknowledges the academic rigor of the program. “The experience I obtained through my EMBA provided me with the mental fortitude to look at any problem or situation and tackle it head-on with the confidence that I will succeed,” he said. “The Millsaps EMBA program is the most intellectually challenging endeavor I’ve faced. It forces you to face your weaknesses and challenges your perception of your strengths. The mental dexterity this program helped harness has allowed me to identify, understand, implement, and execute human resource issues well beyond my four years of experience in the profession. Without having completed the program, I truly don’t believe I would have considered, prepared for, or passed the SHRM-SCP (Society for Human Resource Management-Senior Certified Professional) HR certification in early 2016.”
Black, who earned his EMBA in 2015, has seen a 48 percent financial return on the investment in his education that he made in 2014.
Just as important, he believes he has gained “increases in social capital, emotional intelligence, and an understanding of the impact of social responsibility,” something that many of today’s business leaders lack.